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FAA Authorization Bill Gives Deadline for UAV Public Airspace Integration

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The Federal Aviation Administration has until Sept. 30, 2015 to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into public airspace, Discovery News reported.

UAVs are currently allowed to fly only in restricted airspace controlled by the military.

The FAA Authorization and Reform Act of 2012 allows for an initial group of 4.4-pound drones to start operation within 90 days.

The drones are intended to help law enforcement officials, firefighters and first responders, according to Discovery.

UAVs’ integration into public air space is also expected to help public servants with traffic regulation, search-and-rescue and suspect surveillance.

Discovery reported a second round of UAVs weighing less than 55 pounds is expected to deploy by May 2013.

Specific regulations dictating where the drones can fly and who can operate them have yet to be decided on.

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